By Paula Sirois
This really happened to me today. I’m on a business trip and while walking to the office this morning; I noticed a row of rose bushes. It was 8 a.m. and I was on a main road, with lots of cars, people, noise and morning commute business. First I noticed the roses and then I noticed myself thinking, “Hey, what if I actually did the famous cliche and really stopped right now?” What if, with laptop in hand, my business suit on, my hair all done and a full day of work in the immediate future, I leaned over and took a second to smell the proverbial rose?
So I did it.
I’ll admit that for a moment I felt a little foolish, and I’m sure someone in one of those cars saw what I was doing and thought I was foolish too, but I did it anyway. I stopped and leaned over and smelled that rose and it was beautiful and I felt inspired to experience what this cliche is actually trying to tell all of us.
You may find this hard to believe, but while almost everyone knows this saying, nobody really knows, or can at least agree upon, where it originated. There have been some ideas that Ringo Starr’s album “Stop and Smell the Roses” is where it all began, but that’s doubtful. Interesting that such a famous and often used saying is not attributed to anyone in particular. Yet, we all know what it means when we hear it right? Slow down and enjoy your life; take time for the little things, notice the beauty around you before you miss it all. So, what would happen if we all did just that; slowed down and smelled the roses of life? My guess is that it wouldn’t last long and we would be caught up in our busy lifestyle quickly enough. But let’s imagine for a moment slowing down and appreciating what is in front of you right now. What does that look like?
— MORNING RUSH: Instead of jumping out of bed and barking out commands at your family to hurry up and put this on or brush that or pack this, a SASTR (stop and smell the roses) person would wake slowly and start their day recognizing how incredibly lucky and happy they are to have a reason to wake up; namely family and work and friends and commitments and goals. They would laugh at the typical foibles of a morning routine; spilled coffee or forgotten lunch boxes and chalk it up to just another thing to be grateful to have been forgotten. How lucky we all really are when we stop and acknowledge what we have and what we take for granted.
— WORK RUSH: Instead of being annoyed at one meeting overlapping with another meeting and endless notes and deadlines and projects, a SASTR person would be grateful to have been included, to have work, to have co-workers and to be participating in something greater than themselves. They would happily share their thoughts and ideas and be thankful that they could work with a team to bring something tangible to fruition. They would be overjoyed that at the end of the week they also were financially compensated while being able to help. They would drive home feeling fulfilled and eager to get back to work and help some more.
— AFTERNOON RUSH: Instead of microwaving some quickie, preservative laden boxed meal and having the family eat at various times alone, in front of a TV, while bickering with one another about who forgot what and how much cleaning there is to do, a SASTR person would come into their home with such pride and happiness and excitement to see their family and be together for another night of shared meals and conversation. They would welcome the noise and chaos of family life, proof positive that they have people around them who love and care and who share in their world and the ups and downs. A SASTR person eagerly would look forward to cooking and tidying up together and sharing personal stories about their days and dreams and goals and lives. They would fall asleep each night fulfilled and thankful and excited for the next day.
So, does stopping and smelling the roses sound a tad more appealing to you now? Why not try it today and see what happens.